Pupil uses sewing skills to bring history project to life

A creative student has crafted a textiles design which has brought a school’s history project to life.

Emily O’ Neill, a year 9 student at Richmond School and Sixth Form College, is a member of the school’s history club which is embarking on an ambitious project to create their own video episode of Horrible Histories.

The students realised they would need a Rattus Rattus for their quirky transitions.

For anyone unfamiliar with Horrible Histories, Rattus Rattus is the talking rat host of the sketch series.

After much research, they figured that they would have to pay well over £200 for one.

But 13-year-old Emily has great sewing skills and in three days she was able to create the club’s very own Rattus Rattus.

Miss Ridley, history teacher and leader of the history club, said: “Emily volunteered her own time to do this and we couldn’t be more grateful.

“The finished product is better than any of us could have imagined. Emily is a valued member of the history club and each week her passion for the subject shines through. Thank you so much, Emily.”

Emily is a keen sewer and was delighted to take on the challenge of making Rattus Rattus.

She was just six when she first became interested in sewing and started to make things.

Emily said: “My interest was inspired by my Aunt who enjoys sewing and knitting, so I have grown up watching her and I have always liked the idea that I could make anything myself and make it exactly the way I wanted, if I tried hard enough.

“I also like to fix things and it’s a useful skill to have in the long term. I have made lots of things in the past and some of my more recent sewing projects, besides the puppet, are a skirt, some pillows and I’m knitting some scarfs at the moment.

“To make the Rattus Rattus puppet, I used parts of old socks for the main body and some old material for the facial features and spare stuffing I had from a previous pillow project. It seemed right to recycle because he is a Rat.”

Horrible Histories is an popular children’s historical television series, based on the best-selling books of the same name, by Terry Deary.

The series covers several different historical periods from the Stone Age to post World War Two, with fabulous sketches, comedy and animations which really inspire a love of history for children.

Simon Farnaby, a former Richmond School student stars in the TV series, alongside Rattus Rattus, the puppet host, who explains the facts to help children’s understanding of history.

To find out more about Horrible Histories visit https://www.bbc.co.uk/cbbc/shows/horrible-histories and to see Rattus Rattus in action visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DEUcOHUhcRQ